The medical term for a neck lift is a lower rhytidectomy. This surgical procedure is used to correct the signs of aging on the neck and jaw line. For example, patients may request this procedure to reduce excess skin and fatty tissue that contributes to jowls or a double chin, to reduce loose skin on the neck, or even to fix abnormal contours caused by muscle banding. The neck is often more likely to show signs of aging earlier than the face, and many people have this procedure done to maintain a youthful appearance when they feel a full facelift isn’t needed. Patients may also choose to have a neck lift at the same time as a facelift.
Neck lifts are performed in 3 steps once a pre-surgical consultation is done to determine if a patient is a suitable candidate for the procedure. First, anesthetics are administered to ensure the patient’s comfort during the procedure. Patients can choose between intravenous and general anesthesia. Then, the surgeon makes the incisions. The surgeon may begin the incision at the hairline near the sideburn or around the ear. If necessary, fatty tissue may be reduced or sculpted and in most cases, the platysma muscle is tightened. The skin is then placed back over the repositioned tissues and any excess trimmed away. Finally, the skin is reattached using sutures or skin adhesives. Neck lifts are relatively quick surgical procedures, lasting only a few hours. Patients typically return home on the same day as the procedure and spend a few days at home recovering.
Before having neck lift surgery, you need to have a comprehensive consultation with the surgeon to determine your goals and if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. This is your opportunity to ask questions about the procedure and to learn about what you need to do to prepare. The doctor gives you specific instructions to stop smoking, avoid medications including aspirin and other anti-inflammatories, and any supplements that may increase bleeding. You’ll also be advised to take or adjust other medications to reduce any risk associated with the procedure. Most patients have a physical examination and blood work completed before the procedure.
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